I refer to the well-researched letter by Ruth Madsen, July 09 2012. The realization that the city's southwest is virtually surrounded by legal mining claims should be a wake-up call for all concerned.
It has long been a mystery to me why the Mineral Tenure Act allows claims to exist in and around established residential areas. One can see the economic philosophy behind such thinking 100 years ago, but much has changed since then.
At the risk of sounding hysterical, isn't it past time that our legislators took a hard look at the Act and amended it to reflect 21st century values and reality?
As it sits, it appears that any mining company that can raise the capital may activate these claims, providing they pass an environmental review.
With an environmental review being the only thing standing between an established city and massive mining development, literally on its doorstep, it is little wonder that some of us are feeling uneasy.
The question for the government decision-makers is straightforward. In this case, should the Ajax ore deposit be treated as so important to our economic future that it should take precedent over millions of dollars worth of existing infrastructure and private investment, not to mention precedent over quality of life.
The City, of course, finds itself in somewhat of a dilemma, having actively and successfully lobbied to have the Afton Mine included in its tax base back in the 1970s. For council to oppose the Ajax development now, they would have to do a 180, which would no doubt focus unwanted heat on them.